Simmons was born in Bradshaw to Chauncey and Lois Simmons, and was the fifth generation of early Bradshaw pioneers Fred Schneringers Alonzo C. Simmons, Nathaniel Simmons, Chauncey Palmer and Nathaniel Pope. After his parents honeymooned on Catalina Island in California in 1936, the family moved to Whittier in 1941.
Simmons was an accomplished Boy Scout, achieving his Eagle Scout certification in 1954. He attended the 1953 Boy Scout Jamboree in 1953, which drew 50,000 scouts from around the country to Newport, Calif. At the event, Simmons was the leader of his troop, and had the opportunity meet and serve breakfast to President Richard Nixon.
He graduated from El Rancho High School in Pico-Rivera in 1956, and while there he focused on math and art, and played varsity basketball. In 1961, Simmons graduated from the founding class of Harvey Mudd College with a degree in chemistry and a focus on fluid mechanics. While at Harvey Mudd, Simmons played varsity football and basketball, and participated in student government and student court. After graduation, he served as an assistant director of development, working in fundraising and public relations from 1968-69.
In 1962, Simmons began a four-year stint with North American Aviation, which supported multiple Apollo spacecraft missions. He was lead engineer with the non-metallics section, focusing on propellants and other fluids.
In 1969, Simmons moved to Boulder, Colo., for a brief role with Ball Brothers Research, but he embraced the move as an opportunity to fish and hunt throughout the Rocky Mountains. In 1971, Simmons worked in Denver for Falcon Research and Development, a firm devoted to the creation of powered wheelchairs, controls and accessories for people with spinal cord injuries. He joined the Coors Ceramics Company in November 1977, and worked there until 1990 in a variety of marketing, sales and managerial roles. Over that span of time, he represented the company in sales in every region of the United States, as well as Europe, Japan and South Korea.
Simmons is survived by his life partner, Kathy Hilfer (Golden, Colo.); his sisters, Susie Jackson (Fullerton, Calif.) and Mary Crabb (Fountain Valley, Calif.); his daughter, Jennifer Hobbs (Memphis, Tenn.); his son, Drew Simmons (Waitsfield, Vt.) and his wife Mary Simmons and their grandchildren, Grace (Bozeman, Mont.) and Sawyer (Ithaca, N.Y.)
Simmons will be buried at Plainfield Cemetery in Bradshaw at 10:00 am Saturday, April 22, 2023 near multiple generations of his family, and will be the fifth generation of the pioneering family to be buried there. The Reverend Mary Scott will be officiating.